1.) The Tampa Bay Devil Rays [starting pitcher James Shields]- building up their team for the last several years; can anyone think they can keep up once the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox get their seasons in order? They possess a nucleus of pitching talent to go with a core of future stars.
2.) The Detroit Tigers [manager Jim Leyland] - Miguel Cabrera hasn't been doing so bad, but he hasn't been playing with fire, so he gets his share of the blame. A closer look reveals the pitching isn't as good as hoped, either starting or relievers.
7.) The Florida Marlins [second baseman Dan Uggla] - its not just the $70 million face of the franchise in Hanley Ramirez, but Dan Uggla who has been carrying the load and powering the team to a surprise beginning.
8.) St. Louis Cardinals [outfielder Skip Shumaker] - Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan absolutely great turning veteran pitchers around [Joel Pineiro, Kyle Lohse, Braden Looper, Todd Wellemeyer, et al but in addition, they've allowed some fringe talent [Ryan Ludwick, Skip Shumaker, Brian Barton] to succeed and contribute along with the 'constant' in Albert Pujols. Centerfielder Rick Ankiel continues to impress with the bat and with his once promising pitching arm.
10.) Edinson Volquez [Cincinnati Reds' starting pitcher] - was traded for Josh Hamilton, who is doing well, but Volquez has turned a corner and has been dominant for the Cincinnati Reds so far.